Today, a federal court in Victoria held an interim hearing on a case asking whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have equal access to old-age pensions, given their shorter life expectancy than non-Indigenous people.
The case argues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should have early access to old-age pensions to offset the gap in life expectancy until that gap is closed. WakkaWakka’ss husband, Uncle Dennis (who prefers his last name not to be used by the media), is suing the federal government, along with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Human Rights Law Center, and the support of DLA Piper (a global law firm).
The standard retirement age will increase to 67 by 2023. But right now, thisdoesn’tt accounts for the wide disparities in life expectancy and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents. Due to the ongoing effects of colonization and racial discrimination, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have an average life expectancy of 8.6 years lower than non-Indigenous men, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have an average life expectancy of 7.8 years shorter than non-indigenous men. -Indigenous women.
The case marks the Australian government’s first time in court over failing to close the gap in life expectancy…” “As an Aboriginal man, I have seen too many of my people die at a very young age. We are lucky to be 50 years old,” Uncle Dennis said in a statement today.” “Whites live longer because they haven’t lost what we’ve lost. So many things that Aboriginal people suffer from today are because of the way we have been treated since colonization. It is only right that the retirement age should be lowered. Retirement is important to caring for and caring for our people when they can no longer work.”
The case marks the first time the Australian government has been brought to court over failure to close the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people in Australia.
Last year, the Australian Productivity Commission confirmed that the equal life expectancy target will not be met by 2031.
In addition to rectifying existing inequalities in access to retirement, lowering the retirement age would support several Closing the Gap goals by helping improve the economic participation, financial security, and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who can no longer afford to. To work.” ThiTocae is about telling the truth…to give our people the same chance in life” – Uncle Dennis.
But Uncle Dennis says the case “isn’t just about money and “Things will never get better unless we recognize something is wrong. Truth and responsibility are important. This case is about telling the truth and asking the government to work with us to give our people the same opportunity in life as everyone else.”
NeritaWaight, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, e CEOxplains: “Our people are living shorter lives because the government has not provided the support services needed to close the gap.” “This mens that our people are much more likely to fail to reach retirement age and, if they do, enjoy fewer years than the rest of the population. Bringing fairness to old age pensions would greatly impact our people and only a small impact on government – we hope they do the right thing.”
Wright said the case had already received a huge amount of public support.” We are pleased with the case’s progress through the Federal Court,” she said.” We hope. The community will continue to follow Uncle Dennis’s journey to bring fairness to retirement.”
Nick Epie, legal director of the Human Rights Law Centre, said all Australians should be able to look forward to a future where we can age with dignity and retire. But because of the gap in life expectancy, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are denied equal access to this opportunity.” “It is a national disgrace that our people are still dying too young. I’ve been to too many funerals for the family we lost too soon,” Espie aid.” “While t. the Closing the Gap agreement offers hope, change takes time, and it is clear that life expectancy equality is still far off. People at the end of their working lives don’t have time to wait another decade – they need good support now. There is now an opportunity for the Albanian government to resolve this inequality as a matter of priority”
He noted that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women ofDennisof Dennisave lived in the shadows of the stolen generations, experienced stolen wages, and been barred from full participation in society in their own countries. He described the case as “an opportunity to address the protracted hardship and disadvantage that stem from years of policies and law” that hve worked against Australia’s First Nations peoples.” “Until w have an equal life expectancy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders should be able to access retirement earlier. This is just one way the Australian government can recognize the health impacts of generations of systemic discrimination and be responsible for the lack of progress in closing the gap” Espie Aid. Today’ss midterm hearing was to determine whether the full bench would hear the case of the Federal Court. Justice Mortimer said she would report her decision shortly.